Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 9 - Off Ship

Breakfast this morning was early. Let me be more specific... breakfast was CRAZY early. Since we had the first dinner seating for this cruise, we then had first breakfast seating on disembarkation day. So we needed to be dressed and all packed up at breakfast with our stuff at 6:45 am. They don't want you to return to your room at this point. They feed you a lovely meal and you walk off the ship... more or less :)
We had a short wait to walk off, sometimes it can take a few minutes for the line. But we had found a porter to help with our bags and were walking through customs in record time.
Having the porter help with this was really handy. He guided us out of the terminal to where we would meet our car for transportation to Disney World.
When scheduling a car you need to give them a time for pick up. And for us this was a complete guess. We haven't had first seating on a cruise before and we had no idea how long it would take on a ship the size of the Fantasy.
So we were a bit off on our time estimate. Our car arrived about 30 mins after we got off ship. And the driver loaded up all our stuff. It wasn't long before we found ourselves enjoying a comfy ride in a long black limo! Wowsa, what a treat.
The drive went quickly. And we were at the on-site rental car office at Disney World before we knew it. We put all our gear in the rental car and headed to Disney's Old Key West to check in.
We are DVC members and this is our home resort. Although we haven't stayed here in about 4 years.
So when the guard said "Welcome Home" at the guard station it really felt like we were returning home again.
We had no expectation of being able to get into a room this early. Rooms are ready by 4 pm and this was barely 10 am, but we wanted to check in all the same. And guess what... a room was available. It wasn't the room assigned to us, but it was the same layout we reserved so we took it. Our one bedroom was the perfect size for us. With a king bed, pull out queen and pull out twin. So everyone gets a bed. Plus a full size washer and dryer and a great soaking tub... ahhhh.
We spent the next half hour or so settling into the room, unpacking and exploring.
Then we headed back down to the main area of the resort to catch a boat to Downtown Disney for lunch. A family's gotta eat right? Actually having been so well fed for the previous week, it was kind of funny to be on our own for means all of the sudden. But we managed ;)
Wolfgang Puck Express and Ghiradelli for ice cream after worked out great.
We also took a minute and activated our park passes while we were near guest relations... more on this later.
We wandered back to the boat dock and began working our way back to OKW.
This evening for dinner we had reservations at 1900 Park Fare, in the Grand Floridian resort for dinner with Cinderella and "friends" - to celebrate our little lady's birthday... Oh, did I forget to mention? Today was her birthday! And she was definitely in birthday mode all day ;)
But dinner was the highlight for her.
We had a bit of quiet time before we had to get ready and go.
Then we were off again to eat.... hmmm, I hope this isn't a theme this week.
Dinner came with pictures of the group and then of course getting to meet all the characters and take pics.
Our peace loving son doesn't care for characters at all, so this was really stretching him. He managed well and even timed his trips to the buffet for when they came to our table. He really was surprised when the stepsisters would scream... just because they can.

meeting the Prince 
Ok, is this one Anastasia or Drisella?
classic Cinderella Stepmother... she was soo funny. "Oh, great, a birthday girl" 
this one was the screamer - and she can scream! 
We ate and took pictures, the birthday girl had a blast and we were heading out before anyone else started to scream ;) just kidding. It was a nice character meal experience.
We went back to the room and then things got a bit nutty for hubby.

Before the trip, we had been trying out some of the new "MyDisneyExperience" features on the Disney World website.  It is a new web application and smart phone app.  A few months ago, Hubby had associated our annual pass vouchers with our profiles in the system.  Well, after we activated our passes today, hubby looked online to see if the new passes has been automatically associated with our online profiles.  They had, with one problem.  His pass was associated with our son, and our son's pass was associated with him.  We weren't sure if this was going to be a problem or not, but hubby felt that it would be best if we worked everything out before we tried to enter the parks the next morning, so he went back to Downtown Disney to Guest Relations to ask about it. After explaining the issue, the girl working at guest relations first congratulated hubby on finding a way to break the system in a way that they had been unable to, and then ended up re-issuing hubby's and the boy's passes.  Hooray, everything was fixed... at least until he came back to the room and found that he couldn't get into the room.  Somehow during the process of getting the passes re-issued, his key was deactivated.  He then went to the OKW front desk to get his key re-issued, but their system wasn't able to confirm that the new passes were set up correctly.  So, he headed back to Downtown Disney to double-check that the passes wouldn't give us any trouble in the morning.  The new system has some cool features and shows promise, but still has a lot of bugs to work out.

While he was gone, the kids and I took the resort bus to the OKW general store and did a bit of looking around. We picked up a few things and then grabbed the bus back to the room and got ready for bed.
Tomorrow we hit the parks!

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